Knight-mare for Chelsea
Derby will not want to remember their visit to Anfield as a rampant Liverpool put 6 past the Rams to leave them rooted to the bottom of the table and lift the Reds to the top, with Xabi Alonso and new boy Fernando Torres scoring 2 each. Two goals from Matthew Etherington helped West Ham to a 3-0 win at Reading after Craig Bellamy had opened the scoring for the Hammers in the 6th minute. Michael Owen scored the only goal of the match late on at home to Wigan bringing joy and hope to Newcastle and England fans. Nicolas Anelka equalized Yakubu's early goal with a powerful volley in the 55th minute, but a last minute header from Joleon Lescott gave Everton victory at Bolton; while Middlesbrough enjoyed a 2-0 home win against Birmingham. In an entertaining match at Craven Cottage, Fulham came from 3-1 down to salvage a point against Tottenham with a spectacular last minutes overhead kick from Diomansy Kamara. In the evening kick-off goalkeeper Gordon kept Manchester United at bay until the 71st minute when Saha headed in the only goal of the match to send Sunderland home empty handed.
On Sunday Kanu scored a cheeky goal in the 60th minute against his former club, but by that time Arsenal - who had had Philippe Senderos sent off for holding back Kanu when clear on goal - were already 3 up through goals by Adebayor (pen), Fabregas and Risicky. Manchester City returned from Blackburn losing to a Benni McCarthy goal, while Chelsea yet again found Villa Park a difficult venue with Zat Knight rising hight to head Aston Villa into the lead 2 minutes after the break and Agbonlahor smashing the ball past Petr Cech in the dying minutes. Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea top the table with the first 2 having a game in hand.
Arsenal beat Tottenham 3-1 in an exciting North London derby to go top of the table. Gareth Bale's well taken low free kick crept in at the base of the post in the 15th minute. Berbatov should have doubled Tottenham's lead in the second half when he rounded the keeper but was denied by a world class tackle from Toure. Adebayor headed in a 65th minute equaliser and Fabregas lashed in the winner with 10 minutes remaning with Adebayor making sure of the points with a superb volley in the 90th minute. Nemanja Vidic scored a late header at Goodison Park to give Man United a 1-0 win over Everton, while Pepe Reina saved a Kanu penalty for Liverpool to ensure a 0-0 draw at Portsmouth. A powerful shot from Michael Essien forced Brad Friedel into a magnificent save in the first half and Salamon Kalou had his 57th minute effort controversially disallowed for offside as Blackburn earned a goalless draw at Chelsea. West Ham enjoyed a 3-0 home win against Middlesbrough, while a goal from Kapo sent Bolton home empty handed from Birmingham. Kenwyne Jones made an influential home debut for Sunderland, scoring the first with a neat turn and shot from outside the area, and setting up Ross Wallace for the second as the Black Cats defeated Reading 2-1 who scored a late goal through Dave Kitson. A late penalty from Jason Koumas rescued a point for hosts Wigan against Fulham after trailing most of the match to a Clint Dempsey goal. On Sunday young Michael Johnson burst into the Aston Villa box and slotted the ball home early in the second half to take Man City into second spot. On Monday Kenny Miller scored a cracker on his home against Newcastle to life Derby off the bottom of the table. Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea are the top five.
Chelsea blue without Jose
Arsenal produced another 5 star performance on Saturday to stay top of the league. Abou Diaby opened the scoring in the 10th minute with an unstoppable shot followed by an Adebayor hat-trick and a goal from Fabregas to see the Gunners record a 5-0 win at home to Derby. In an exhilarating match at Craven Cottage a Martin Petrov double was not enough to give Man City a win over Fulham as the teams shared 6 goals with both teams taking the lead at some stage of the match. A late goal from James Harper gave Reading all 3 points with a 2-1 win over Wigan whose Marcus Bent had equalised a first-half Dave Kitson goal. Middlesbrough fought back to take the lead after conceding an early goal only to see Liam Miller smash in a last minute half-volley, earning Sunderland a 2-2 away draw. Liverpool played out another goalless draw; this time at home to Birmingham. On Sunday Chelsea visited Old Trafford with new manager Avram Grant in charge. United showed intent from the start with Rooney curling the ball goal bound for the diving Cech to make a brilliant fingertip save. Despite the controversial dismissal of John Obi Mikel in the 32nd minute, Chelsea held their own until deep into first-half stoppage time when Giggs spun a cross into the box which Tevez got his head to giving the home side a half time lead. Substitute Saha sealed the victory for United with a last minute spot kick. Two goals from Mark Viduka helped Newcastle to a 3-1 home win over West Ham, while goals from John Carew and Gabrieal Agbonlahor gave Aston Villa a 2-0 victory at home to Everton. Robbie Keane scored in the 34th minute for Tottenham at Bolton, but Ivan Campo earned a point for the hosts with a header 5 minutes later. After earlier being denied by a magnificent double-save from Brad Friedel, Nwankwo Kanu scored the only goal at Blackburn to give Portsmouth all 3 points.
Chelsea firing blanks with Grant
Manchester City enjoyed their fourth straight home win in an entertaining match against Newcastle. Shay Given dived majestically in the11th minute to save a shot from Elano which was destined for the top corner; and when Obafemi Martins brought a long ball down to knock it past young Joe Hart in the 29th minute Newcastle looked on their way, but Martin Petrov levelled the score at the far post 9 minutes later. Petrov was instrumental in the second goal for City when his dash and cross found the head of Emile Mpenza 2 minutes into the second half. Elano Blumer made it 3-1 with a rocket from a free-kick 3 minutes from time. Fratton Park witnessed an amazing match as Portsmouth beat Reading 7-4. Benjani opened the scoring for Pompey poking the ball over the line in the 7th minute and split the Reading defence half an hour later to shoot in the second. Stephen Hunt nodded home a goal for Reading to reduce the deficit on the stroke of half time, and 3 minutes into the second half David James was caught short outside his box and punished by Dave Kitson with a precise finish to restore parity. James atoned for his earlier error by keeping out a Nicky Shorey penalty after Hermann Hreidarsson had restored the lead for Portsmouth in the 55th minute. Benjani rounded the keeper to complete his hat-trick in the 70th minute and Niko Kranjcar made it 5 with a header 5 minutes later. Long deflected in a Harper shot for Reading with 10 minutes to go, but Sean Davis replied swiftly with a sixth for the hosts. There were further goals in stoppage time as Munatri converted a penalty for Portsmouth and Shorey pulled a goal back with a deflected shot to make the final score 7-4. Avram Grant's men failed to find the net at Stamford Bridge against Fulham who came close to taking all 3 points in a match that saw John Terry go off with a fractured cheekbone and Didier Drogba sent off in the 75th minute. Goals from Robin van Persie and Yossi Benayoun gave Arsenal and Liverpool 1-0 wins against West Ham and Wiagn respectively, while a 51st minute goal from Cristiano Ronaldo and a magnificent reflex save by substitute keeper Kuszczak ensured a 1-0 Man United win at Birmingham. A last minute Grant Leadbitter goal was not enough for Sunderland who were trailing to visitors Blackburn Rovers, through Bentley and Santa Cruz goal. Bolton came from behind with a goal from Anelka to draw the bottom-of-the-table clash at Derby who had taken the lead through Kenny Miller. On Sunday Joleon Lecott picked his spot with a close range header for Everton in the 7th minute and Steven Pienaar slid in a second in the 58th minute to give the home team a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough.
September ends with Arsenal leading the way.
On Monday evening Tottenham played Aston Villa